Cable and satellite TV services must offer more consumer choice

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Riskynet
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Cable and satellite TV services must offer more consumer choice

#1

Post by Riskynet » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:29 pm

Cable and satellite TV services must offer more consumer choice


OTTAWA — The federal government will unveil plans this week to force cable and satellite TV providers to offer consumers so-called pick-and-pay services, says a prominent cabinet minister.

The move will be part of a consumer-first agenda to be included by the Conservatives in this week’s speech from the throne.

Consumers are frustrated over being forced to buy large bundles of channels they don’t want when they sign up for satellite and cable TV services, says Industry Minister James Moore.

Companies such as Videotron in Quebec are already moving in the pick-and-pay direction, largely because consumers are shying away from traditional TV and are instead watching programming over the Internet.

As viewer habits evolve, there’s no reason why all television service providers can’t offer consumers the ability to pick and choose the channels they want, says Moore.

“We don’t think people should be forced to buy bundled television channels when they’re not interested in watching those channels and those shows,” Moore said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

“We should have a pick-and-pay model when it comes to television channels.”

The two largest cable and satellite TV service providers — Bell (TSX:BCE) and Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) — offer subscribers basic packages that include the main television networks and selected other channels. But upgraded packages, at a higher cost, have channels bundled together by category or viewing interest.

Quebec’s Videotron (TSX:QBR.B) has recently offered subscribers the ability to choose five individual channels at a time from a list of choices, on top of their basic service. Bell has also offered a similar pricing structure, but only in Quebec.

Canada’s broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, urged cable and satellite companies in 2011 to adopt a pick-and-pay pricing model when it unveiled new regulations aimed at preventing television broadcasters from restricting consumer choice.

In response, Rogers experimented with a type of a la carte pricing model in the winter of 2011-2012, offering consumers in London, Ont. a so-called “skinny basic” package for about $20, then charging an extra $26 or more to customers who wanted to pick 15, 20 or 30 extra channels.

But others, including Shaw Communications Inc., resisted such a pricing model and it was never made mandatory. Moore said it’s about time for that to happen.

“It’s not a command economy, we’re not going to put in place onerous regulations. We’re a government of deregulation,” Moore insisted.
“But from time to time, we think that the best interest of consumers need to be enforced in the marketplace.”

Some critics, however, have questioned whether such a payment regime will result in lower overall prices for television services.

As well, analysts note there are about 20 channels that TV distributors must carry, including the CBC and Radio-Canada.

The throne speech will also lay out the government’s plans for ensuring air travellers are somehow compensated when they are inconvenienced by airline overbooking.

Whether that includes enforced, specific compensation amounts remains to be seen, said Moore.

But the Conservatives have in the past adopted consumer protection measures that were voluntary, rather than mandatory, something Opposition NDP consumer affairs critic Glenn Thibeault said blunted regulations.

The Tories also rejected legislation introduced by the New Democrats that included an air passenger bills of rights.

“For five years I’ve watched the Conservatives vote against, time and time again, any bill, any type of motion, any legislation that we have brought forward to help consumers,” said Thibeault.

“Every time they have come out with something, it’s toothless, or they don’t do anything about it.”

Moore said the government will also move to increasing competition in the wireless sector, a reference to the upcoming wireless spectrum auction.
The 700 megahertz auction of radio waves has been called the equivalent of “beachfront property” by analysts.

The previous auction in 2008 raised $4.3 billion and brought more competition to the cellphone market. But so far a competitor to the big three wireless companies has not emerged for the next auction in January.

The throne speech could also include references to capping domestic cellphone roaming fees.

But the speech is not expected to include a plan for dealing with the credit card interchange fees that have been villified by small business.

The federal Competition Tribunal threw the issue into the government’s hands in July when it struck down a complaint against Visa and Mastercard over the processing fees they charge businesses for using their cards.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty later convened a special meeting of the government’s FinPay Committee to discuss the issue, but no easy solution to the dispute has emerged.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/10/13 ... mes-moore/

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#2

Post by DenBen » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:36 pm

Eastlink is going in the way of Videotron also. They have that Personal Picks option now for a lot of the digital channels. I doubt we will ever see true a-la-carte, but these changes are a step in the right direction.

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#3

Post by Loco101 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:02 am

The conservative government is doing poorly in the polls so they are trying things like this to get attention. It's too bad it's something that really won't make much of a difference.

JohnW

#4

Post by JohnW » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:46 am

Makes a difference to me. I don't need 7 French channels nor 5 Sports channels It would also be nice to have at least one decent movie channel back.

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#5

Post by DenBen » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:41 pm

There is a misconception about a-la-carte in that every channel will be that way. Can't happen. This can only be done with a digital system, analog would have to be still charged at the old price or turned off completely.

There would still be a basic package that everyone would have to take. Remember basic cable 20 years ago? That would have to come back. Unfortunately every cable company over time inflated the number of channels plus the price in their basic packages. This happened because more and more people were adding the extra tiers of channels and since penetration became so high for those channels, it would be cheaper to add these services to basic. This is why "Basic Cable" is the way it is now.

Here in Timmins at the this time in 1999. Basic Cable was channels 2 to 30 and channel 49. That's it. 30 total channels. Fast forward 14 years and basic cable is now CHs 2-30, 49-52, 58-61, 67-70, 95, 130 and 134 to 143. The start of this happened in March 2000 when Regional Cable launched digital TV for the first time. New basic channels were added like the Food Network, MuchMoreMusic and APTN while some were moved from tiers to basic like Bravo!, OLN and MuchMusic.

Eastlink did add the Personal Picks thing but at the same time (I just remembered this) added E!, TSN and Discovery Channel to its basic line-ups across the country. It kind of goes against what they were starting. I think this is probably due to Bell Media's greed forcing smaller operators to do as they say or risk losing everything.

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#6

Post by DenBen » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:46 pm

Kegan wrote:[font=Comic Sans MS]Agree.[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS][/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]John you may already have a few of these, but listed in the standalones for $1.99 are:[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]222 - Independent Film Channel[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]223 - Lifetime[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]228 - Movie Time[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]328 - Mystery Channel[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]226 - Rewind[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]224 - Showcase Action[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]219 - Silver Screen Classics[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]225 - Sundance Channel[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]227 - WMovies[/font]

[font=Comic Sans MS]There can be some half decent movies on these channels.....[/font]
I'd verify the price John if you add anything. Their website says they are $2.95 a month. [think

Just putting that out there. You can always check what is showing by looking through your digital guide. Some of them may appeal to you and some won't for sure.

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#7

Post by Captain Steubings » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:48 pm

denben73 wrote:There is a misconception about a-la-carte in that every channel will be that way. Can't happen. This can only be done with a digital system, analog would have to be still charged at the old price or turned off completely.
Thought that analog was already being done away with like 2 years ago?

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#8

Post by Riskynet » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:16 pm

This is most of the add on packages that Bell Satellite offers.




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JohnW

#9

Post by JohnW » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:37 pm

Kegan wrote:[font=Comic Sans MS]Agree.[/font]

[font=Comic Sans MS]John you may already have a few of these, but listed in the standalones for $1.99 are:[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]222 - Independent Film Channel[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]223 - Lifetime[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]228 - Movie Time[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]328 - Mystery Channel[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]226 - Rewind[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]224 - Showcase Action[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]219 - Silver Screen Classics[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]225 - Sundance Channel[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]227 - WMovies[/font]

[font=Comic Sans MS]There can be some half decent movies on these channels.....[/font]
Nope, I have not a one of those. [sad

JohnW

#10

Post by JohnW » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:06 pm

I'm interested in adding lots. Not budgeted for it though.

JohnW

#11

Post by JohnW » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:00 pm

[think

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#12

Post by Riskynet » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:12 pm

Kegan wrote:[font=Comic Sans MS]Well..... maybe you could ask the other person living in your home to contribute $10.00/mo for a couple of channels........? [3shrug[/font]


Hell, they can contribute to the whole cable bill. [five

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#13

Post by DenBen » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:10 pm

Kegan wrote:[font=Comic Sans MS]Yes.... by all means, check the price.[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS][/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]When I received the initial letter from Eastlink, the impression I got was that you had to have basic cable naturally, but could add standalones from there. I went to the Eastlink counter at the Square to verify this. There were two people working there - the first one I talked to said, yes, she thought that was the case. The second person came over and said that there were only a certain number of channels available as standalones and printed me out a list.[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS][/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]A total of 47 channels were priced at $1.99 and another 10 were prices at $2.95.[/font]
[font=Comic Sans MS]But that seems to change fairly often.[/font]
OK. I was going by the price on the website. If that is the info they gave you, then I would believe your price would be correct then. The prices on the site could be based for N.S. customers.
Kegan wrote:[font=Comic Sans MS]Well..... maybe you could ask the other person living in your home to contribute $10.00/mo for a couple of channels........? [3shrug[/font]
[gp
Riskynet wrote:Hell, they can contribute to the whole cable bill. [five
[gp
Captain Steubings wrote:Thought that analog was already being done away with like 2 years ago?
That was for Over-The-Air television, or OTA. And not for everywhere. CTV and CHCH still broadcast OTA in analog here. Global is now digital though.

That had no affect on cable systems. Some systems are digital only, but most of them are not. I know EastLink has a number of 100% digital only systems, mostly ones that were very outdated then were completely rebuilt in the last few years. I thought I read somewhere that Sudbury is digital only now. Last thing I heard was Timmins would be in 2014.

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#14

Post by DenBen » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:54 pm

Kegan, you are correct.

Digital Essentials is EastLink's marketing name for basic cable.:)

Every new customer for a few years now gets a box automatically. I do know of a couple of people who still only have non-digital cable....as in no box at all. They will be forced soon to get one and at least one of them is going to be really upset. It costs nothing extra and you will get more channels for the same price but they won't like "the change".

Digital Favourites are channels 32, 34 to 44, 94, 97, 99, 158, 159, 160, 174, 176, 177, 195 and 196.

Digital Classics are channels 45, 47, 48, 92, 93, 125 to 129, 197 and 318.

Digital Essentials with Favourites and Classics is what the majority of subs are getting besides Premiums and digi-nets.

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#15

Post by Loco101 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:05 am

Almost all of the shows I watch are available online that it really doesn't make me want to pay for extra channels. Charging two bucks per month for one channel is an extreme ripoff. That's $24 per year plus HST!

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#16

Post by Budgetman » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:36 am

I get for all this for around 60+ tax
CBC BC (CBUT)
CTV BC
Global BC
Citytv Vancouver
CHEK
CTV Two Vancouver Island
Knowledge Network
CKPG
CBC Dawson
CBC TERRACE?
CFJC
CBCNS?
CBC Calgary
CTV Calgary
Global Calgary
Citytv Calgary
CBC Edmonton
CTV Edmonton
Global Edmonton
Citytv Edmonton
CTV Two Alberta
CBCLYD
CTVLYD
Global Regina
CBC Regina
CTV Regina (CKCK)
Global Saskatoon
City Saskatoon
CBC Winnipeg
CTV Winnipeg
Global Winnipeg (CKND)
CBC Toronto
CTV Toronto (CFTO)
Global Toronto
Citytv Toronto
CHCH
Omni 1
Omni 2
CTV Two Toronto
CBC Ottawa
CTV Ottawa
CTV Two Ottawa
CHEX Peterborough
CTV Two London
MCTV (CTV Sudbury)
CBC Thunder Bay
Global Thunder Bay
Global Kenora
CKWS TV (Kingston)
TVO
CBC Montreal
CTV Montreal
CBC Halifax
Global Montreal
Global Maritimes
CTV Atlantic
CTV Two Atlantic
ntv
Global Okanagan
Global St. John
CTV Saskatoon
CTV Kitchener
Bite TV
Telelatino
APTN
CTS
Vision
Citytv Winnipeg
NBC (Detroit)
ABC (Detroit)
CBS (Detroit)
FOX (Rochester)
CBC PEI
PBS (Detroit)
NBC (Seattle)
ABC (Seattle)
CBS (Seattle)
FOX (Seattle)
PBS (Seattle)
CBC News Network
CTV News Channel
SHOP
Grace TV
The Weather Network
CITY MONTREAL
CBCWSR?
CTVWSR?
GLOBAL ETH?
CTV LET
CHATTV ?

Shaw Direct Weather
Sportsnet One Canucks
Sportsnet One Oilers
Sportsnet One Flames
Sportsnet One Senators
Sportsnet One
TSN
TSN2
TSN Alternate
SN360
Sportsnet East
Sportsnet Ontario
Sportsnet West
Sportsnet Pacific
BTN
Game TV
CNN
HLN (Headline News)
BNN (Business News
History Television (East)
History Television (West)
Discovery
Sun News Network
CP24
Cottage
MTV
A&E
Peachtree TV
Showcase (East)
DTOUR
E!
Space
Family (East)
Family (West)
Teletoon (East)
Teletoon (West)
Treehouse
The Comedy Network (East)
The Comedy Network (West)
(GSN) Game Show Network
YTV (East)
YTV (West)
Teletoon Retro
National Geographic
ABC Spark
W (East)
W (West)
HGTV
Slice
Food Network
TLC
TSC
CTVPA?
CTVYOR?
CTV SAULT
CTV TIMMINS
CTV NORTH BAY
OSHCHX?
CBCFRD
CTVSJ
CTVMON
CTVSYD
MovieTime
Lifetime
Travel
Action East west
Much Music
M3
CMT
Peachtree
BET
H2
DejaView
Telelatino
AMIaud
CPAC
CBC Toronto HD
CTV HD
Global HD
CITY HD
BTNHD
SN360HD
NBC Detroit HD
ABC Detroit HD
CBS Detroit HD
FOX Rochester HD
PBS Detroit HD
NBC Seattle HD
ABC Seattle HD
CBS Seattle HD
FOX West HD
CNN HD
FX HD
National Geographic HD
Showcase HD
MTIMHD
SPACE HD
History HD
SRC HD
TVA HD
V HD
DIS J HD
TVAGHD
VGAHD
TVAAHD
TVARHD
TVACHD
TELEHD
SRCMOH
SRCOHD
SRCWHD
SRCRHD
SRCEHD
SRCVHD
ZESTHD
ADDIKHD
CASAHD

BC1HD
GLOBALV HD
CBCVHD
CTVVHD
CITYVHD
CHEKHD
CFJCHD
CKPGHD
KNOWHD

GLOBALEHD
CBCEHD
CTVEHD
CITYEHD
GBLCHD
CTVCHD
CITYCHD
CKSAHD
CITLHD
GLBLRHD
CBCRHD
CTVRHD
GLBLWHD
CBCWHD
CTVWHD
CITYWHD
GLBLTHD
CBCTHD
CTV HD
CITYTHD
CHCHHD
CKPRHD
CHFDHD
TVOHD
TFOHD
GLBLMHD
CBCMHD
CTVMHD
CITYMHD
GLBLHHD
CBCHHD
CTVHHD
CBCNHD
NTV HD
APTNHD
NBCEHD
ABCEHD
CBSEHD
FOXEHD
PBSEHD
NBCWHD
ABCWHD
CBSWHD
FOXWHD
FAMHD
YTVHD
TOON HD
SPARK HD
W HD
SLICE HD
LIFE HD
SHOWCASE HD
COMEDY HD
MUCH HD
SPACE HD
FX HD
NAT HD
DIS HD
CNN HD
SN360HD
NBA HD
BTN HD
MTIMHD
WB HD
MGM HD
SONY HD
AXN HD

Adult Alternative
Around the World
Baroque
BIG BAND
CHAMBER POT MUSIC
Classic Masters
Classic Rock
Country Classics
Dance Clubbin'
EASY LISTENSING
Eclectic Electronic
Flashback 70's
Folk Roots
Franco Country
Franco Pop
Franco Retro
HitList
Hot Country
Jammin'
Jazz Masters
Jazz Now
Jukebox Oldies
Kids' Stuff
Maximum Party
Mousses Musique
Nature
Nostalgie
Pop Adult
Remember the 80's
Rock
Rock Alternative
Smooth Jazz
Souvenirs
The Blues
The Chill Lounge
The Light
The Spa
Top Détente
Urban Beat

CBC 1H
CBC 1T
CBC 2H
CBC2T
CBC2V
CBCEPR
CBUF
CFGL
CFGQ
CFMI
CFMJ
CFNR
CFNY
CFOX
CFQR
CFWE
CHED
CHFI
CHIN
CHMP
CHON
CHQM
CHQR
CHQT
CHUM TSN RADIO
CHUMFM
CILQ
CING
CIOO
CIRK
CISN
CITE
CIUT
CJCL
CJJR
CJKR
CJOB
CJRT
CKAC
CKLG
CKMF
CKNG
CKNW
CKOI
CKRW
CKRY
CKST
CKUA
KDRK
KISC
KMBI
KPBX
KXLY
KZBD
KZZU
RFI
SRC 1M
SRC2M

SRC
SRC M
SRC Vancouver
SRC Ottawa
SRC Trois Rivieres
SRC Regina
SRC TOR
SRCRIM
TVA Québec City (CFCM)
TVA EAST (Montréal
TVA Carleton
TVA Hull (CHOT)
TVA West
TVA Rivière-du-loup
TVA RIM
TVA CHI
TVASHR
CANSAV
V Montréal
TELEQ
VQBC
VSAG
V Gatineau
VSHR
TSC
SRCQUE
SRCSHR
RDI
SRCJON
CKRT
TVATRI
CKRN
CFTF
CFKM
SPM1
SRCWIN
SRCED
TFO

AMI TV
[watch
ImageI say my opinion if its good bad or other, Just like you I have the right to voice it.
if you get paid minimum wage, it's like your boss saying i'd pay you less but its illegal
John Stalks me!!!!! [omg

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#17

Post by Loco101 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:45 am

You should be a happy man then!

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#18

Post by Budgetman » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:57 am

i don't even watch it, its to keep the old lady entertained, when she isn't reading books or sending facebook game requests
[watch
ImageI say my opinion if its good bad or other, Just like you I have the right to voice it.
if you get paid minimum wage, it's like your boss saying i'd pay you less but its illegal
John Stalks me!!!!! [omg

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#19

Post by Riskynet » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:14 pm

Unbundling may cost viewers more, local TV providers say


The federal government's consumer-friendly pitch to TV viewers this week is getting mixed reviews from providers in northern Ontario.

Wednesday’s speech from the throne outlined plans to mandate the end of “bundling” in television services.

But Dan Regaudie, director of broadcast services for television provider Vianet, says the move may not actually save people any money.

“We basically agree with what Ottawa is saying, however, we are very concerned that the cost to the customer will actually go up,” Regaudie said.

He said channels could actually cost more if they are not part of a bundle, meaning people could pay more for less.

Regaudie also pointed out it would be difficult to figure out how to get companies to “unbundle” their channels.

“We are not quite sure how the federal government will actually mandate implementation of a pick-for-pay service because again, it's not just a question of saying to a company like ours: do this,” he said.

But one provider is already moving in the direction the federal government described.

Eastlink Northern Ontario now allows customers to choose some individual channels rather than just set packages (but the purchase of at least a basic cable package is still required).

“We actually had customers coming into our retail locations in northern Ontario and asking about it,” said Jack Nolan, the company’s regional general manager.

Regaudie said the CRTC, Canada’s federal broadcast regulator, is already examining the television industry, but major changes to anyone's television bill are unlikely until new regulations are set.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/u ... -1.2125347

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